1. How can I become an astronaut?
If you wish to become an astronaut, you must realize that the chances of being selected are slim. Nevertheless, if you are keen to pursue the chance, you should do what you can to improve the odds by acquiring appropriate academic credentials and relevant experience while making sure you have an alternative.
But what kind of people become astronauts? First, they are pilots or doctors, physicists or engineers who are dedicated to expanding our scientific knowledge to help improve quality of life on Earth and in space. Interested in sports, music, and family life, these scientists from different backgrounds share the goal of working in space.
To maximize your chances of being chosen you should consider the following:
- earn at least one advanced degree in science or engineering,
- become proficient in more than one discipline;
- become a good public speaker, preferably in both official languages;
- demonstrate concern for others by taking part in community activities;
- maintain your physical fitness;
- acquire a background of knowledge in aerospace topics;
- obtain experience as a pilot, parachute jumper and scuba diver;
- consider working for an aerospace company during school breaks in order to get hands-on experience.
Don't neglect the humanities, arts and social sciences courses that are part of your curriculum. A narrowly defined, highly vocational education will impede your career progression to upper management levels. The Canadian Space Program plays an important role in society. Consequently, space program management must have a good perception of the thinking of politicians and the needs of the public.
You should also be aware of the International Space University (ISU). ISU is an institution dedicated to interdisciplinary graduate space studies and Canada is one of its members. Enrolment is restricted to graduate students. You can obtain more information by writing to: Canadian Foundation for the International Space University (CFISU), c/o Ms. Lorna Vadzis, AUCC, 350 Albert St., Suite 600, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 1B1. Their Website is at: www.isunet.edu. You can also visit the ISU Canadian Alumni Website at: www.caisu.ca.
Remember that your prime concern should be doing something that you really enjoy so that your options are left open should you not become an astronaut. Study the CV's of our astronauts, it will give you a good idea of the type of background you would need.
Recruitment campaigns receive extensive media coverage and enable the CSA to recruit candidates with the necessary qualifications (scientific studies in medicine, physics or engineering) to become astronauts. The date of the next interest call has not yet been set. Please wait for the announcement on our site and in the media before sending your resumé to the organization handling the recruitment campaign.
4. How can I get Canadian Space Agency (CSA) materials for my class?
The Youth Outreach Division of the CSA regularly produces innovative and dynamic youth appropriate learning materials that are available in the Educator Resources section of KidSpace. In this section, not only will you find downloadable documents for educators and students of all ages divided into popular themes such as robotics, spacewalking, microgravity, International Space Station (ISS), astronomy, etc., you will also find other learning tools like archived Webcasts (educational and informative presentations broadcast on the World Wide Web) and Mission Websites (highlighting the science behind past Canadian space missions).
Please send your request to:
Communications Directorate Canadian Space Agency
6767 route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9